Ziraf produces monthly activity/craft kits that will ship to your door automatically if you choose the subscription option. The kits are geared to pre-school age, but I was able to stretch them to use until my oldest was 7 because some of the activities were great for vocabulary building even at that age. These kits are geared for Francophone families so all instructions are in French only.
I really liked that each kit contained all the materials needed for the various crafts. I just needed to locate scissors and glue and that was it. With preschoolers in the house, that was enough! I am not a crafty person by nature, so having the ideas handed to me was a big help.
Other fantastic things about these kits:
– Full colour for everything – vocabulary charts, vivid illustrations, story books, game boards, and activity instructions
– Variety within the kit – there were crafts, stories, vocabulary charts, and simple board games in each one
– The charts and board games were great for building vocabulary with the kids
– Crafts provided an opportunity to dialogue immersion-style while doing something fun and related to the subject
– Chosen themes were interesting to the target age of the kids and matched up with the time of year
What I wasn’t so keen on:
– Because the kits are geared to Francophone children, the vocabulary in the stories was too advanced for my children at that stage. They still listened intently because of the great illustrations, but I could tell they weren’t absorbing much of what was happening.
– The games got a bit repetitive once we’d done 3-4 kits. Different topics still, but the game play was pretty much the same as a prior kit, so my kids started to get bored.
– The price for more than one child was a bit much. Adding $8 for a second set of craft supplies (the only thing that was different between a one-child kit and a two-children kit) was way too much. It brought the price of the kit to over $40 per month including delivery charges and tax. Because this was outside our budget on a monthly basis, we did not use the subscription option and just chose a few kits here and there to do throughout the year.
Overall, we enjoyed using the kits and my kids did learn some vocabulary from them. I would recommend these if you are completely fluent in French yourself and you have children who are younger than 7 years old.
You can order Ziraf kits from their web site at: http://www.ziraf.com/If you're not reading this post in your e-mail, sign up for updates right here and get your free guide to Getting Started Teaching French at Home: